The colors keep changing in Mesa County and we're not talking about the leaves.

While much of Colorado is going purple -the highest level of protection and restrictions In the ongoing battle against COVID-19, Mesa County is moving to red, one level down. Level Red is classified as "severe risk" and brings with it a new set of guidelines.

COVID-19 numbers continue to surge in Mesa County with an additional 248 positive cases reported on Thursday and another three deaths. In the last two weeks a total of 2,235 positive tests have been reported and a positivity rate just under 11%. Mesa County has been at the orange level for less than two weeks.

From Mesa County Public Health, here's a look at what level red is going to mean to Mesa County residents for the foreseeable future

* Indoor dining is closed, though take out and delivery options are still available. Outdoor dining is available. The exceptions for closings are those restaurants that have qualified for the 5-star rating program, otherwise known as the Variance Protection Program. Currently, there are more than 90 Mesa County restaurants on the list. These are restaurants that have implemented all of the necessary safety protocols to keep their customers and staff safe. Restaurants on the list will be able to remain open at 50% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less.

* Bars that don't serve food must be closed.
* Offices are limited to 10% capacity, and employees are encouraged to work from home as much as possible.
* Gyms/indoor recreation limited to 10% capacity or up to 10 people with reservations.
* Entertainment and indoor event venues must be closed.
* Outdoor events limited to 25% capacity or 75 people (whichever is fewer).
* In-person public gatherings (e.g. meetings, shows, exhibits) are not allowed, though churches are allowed to operate at 25% capacity or 50 people.
* Childcare may remain open with standard ratios.
* Personal services- 25% capacity or 25 people.
* Critical and non-critical retail - 50% capacity with increased curbside pick up and delivery.

One critical matter is for everyone to be as informed as possible as we work together to stay safe and fight COVID. There is a lot of great information from Mesa County Public Health about the testing sites, what you should do if you have been exposed to an infected person or are having symptoms and guidelines on how to increase your chances of staying healthy.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app